Sri Lanka Tourism joins hands with Ports Authority to develop cruise tourism

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Sri Lanka Tourism, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, held an informative meeting to discuss on a strategic direction for cruise tourism which is a niche market for the tourism industry, to bring high end travellers.

The meeting was chaired by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Chairman Paddy Withana and included Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga, members of the Cruise Development Committee of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), officials from the Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Sri Lanka Shipping Corporation and Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau.

Withana stressed on the fact of Sri Lanka having the potential of being an exclusive destination for cruise tourism in future. He said: “I’m sure the private sector can facilitate, together with Customs, Department of Immigration and Irrigation, and the rest of the Government organisations.” He further expressed that in 2016, at least 60 vessels are due to arrive at Sri Lankan ports.

He said it is considered a good move because of the involvement of different ministries, and private sector organisations. “When it comes to cruise terminals, ports get involved. So it’s important for the key agencies to get together, understand their concerns, and get all these together and work out a plan to go forward. We want to be a maritime hub; that means we have to look at all the port related industries and develop all industries. We look forward to go in this direction.”

Thus this effort by Sri Lanka Tourism will create another pathway to establish Sri Lanka as a cruise destination.

In addition to the discussion, an informative presentation was made afterwards by one of the Cruise Development Committee Members, depicting the necessity of using Sri Lanka as a destination for passenger ships. Sri Lanka has a line-up of natural harbours such as Colombo, Trincomalee, Hambantota and Galle. Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, together with Sri Lanka Ports Development Authority, will be participating in the Sea Trade Cruise Global in March 2017, in USA, which is the largest cruise event happening there.

The meeting was held subsequently to the visit of Claudius Dosecle, for the International Maritime Conference held in Sri Lanka. He highlighted on the efficiency of the Colombo harbour being an important stop by for Sea cruises.

Source : http://www.ft.lk/article/575068/Sri-Lanka-Tourism-joins-hands-with-Ports-Authority-to-develop-cruise-tourism

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